Solidarity and sexuality: lesbians and gays support the miners 1984-5

Kelliher, D. (2014) Solidarity and sexuality: lesbians and gays support the miners 1984-5. History Workshop Journal, 77(1), pp. 240-262. (doi:10.1093/hwj/dbt012)

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Abstract

During the British miners’ strike of 1984–5 a large network of support groups was established throughout the UK and internationally, primarily to provide financial support. This article looks at the history of one group within this diverse social movement: London Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, which collected funds primarily for the Dulais mining community in South Wales. In the words of one member, the group attempted to bring ‘socialism onto the agenda of sexual politics in the London lesbian and gay community [… and] sexual politics onto the agenda of trade union politics’. This article looks both at the practical ways in which LGSM attempted to do this, and at how the concepts of class, community and oppression were employed to explain this alliance. It places the group in the context of longer-term developments within the British left, arguing that LGSM both reflected and contributed to a weakening of the central position of class, and an increasing openness to a more diverse politics, within the ideology of the left in the 1980s. It argues for the potentially transformative effect of solidarity, and for the importance of small-scale histories in understanding such processes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelliher, Dr Diarmaid
Authors: Kelliher, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Journal Name:History Workshop Journal
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1363-3554
ISSN (Online):1477-4569
Published Online:21 January 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Author
First Published:First published in History Workshop Journal 77(1): 240-262
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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